When Charlotte Tilbury launched, they advocated cruelty-free cosmetics without the certification to back them up. Eight years later – are they finally certified as cruelty-free and vegan? 

Charlotte Tilbury is certified cruelty-free. It doesn't conduct animal testing on its products, nor does it distribute its cosmetics where animal testing is required by law. While Charlotte Tilbury does offer a range of vegan cosmetics, it is not considered a vegan brand.

In 2013, the renowned makeup artist, Charlotte Tilbury, launched her own makeup brand and named it after herself. Its popularity grew quickly, and in 2020, Charlotte Tilbury beauty was sold to Puig fashion and fragrance house for a reported $1.5 billion. 

This is a luxury cosmetics company with prices to match, so it's really worth understanding their animal testing policies, vegan ranges, formulation, and sustainability – before making the investment to support them. 

Is Charlotte Tilbury Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Charlotte Tilbury is 100% Cruelty-Free

It does not:

  • Test any of its products or ingredients on animals;
  • Purchase any ingredients tested on animals within its supply chain; or
  • Distribute its products to any countries that require animal testing by law.

It's taken a while for this, but Charlotte Tilbury is finally recognized as cruelty-free after years of making unsupported claims.

However, the brand was sold to Puig in 2020, which conducts animal testing when required by law. If you're a strong animal activist – this may not appeal to you. 

This brings us to the next point. 

Charlotte Tilbury is Not Vegan

Although the brand is not entirely vegan, Charlotte Tilbury has made various vegan cosmetics from its launch, but it just didn't market the information. 

Today, all its vegan products and ranges are clearly marked on their website once you've selected the product of your choice. 

If a product is vegan, you'll find the information under its ingredients section. It's a little tricky to spot, so here's a screenshot of their website to help you out. 


Some animal-derived ingredients that it uses include: 

  • Honey and beeswax – these ingredients pose many health benefits to your skin and wellbeing. They have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and are loaded with essential vitamins.

    Just because beeswax isn't vegan, it doesn't mean it can't be cruelty-free. Find out more here: Can Beeswax Be Cruelty-Free?
  • Carmine – this ingredient is the red pigment made from the crushed female cochineal insect. A little gross, no? But it is completely harmless and is used in makeup to get those rouge tones.

    To find out why carmine is so cruel and the shocking amount of products that use it, you need to read this: Is Carmine Cruelty-Free and Vegan?  
  • Squalane – this ingredient can be derived from plants, but it can also be sourced from shark livers. It's a great ingredient because it mimics your skin's natural oils. It's also packed with antioxidants and is non-comedogenic.

    However, more than three million deep-sea sharks are killed every year to meet the needs of the shark liver oil market. It's devastating our oceans. So whether you're vegan or not – please ensure you only buy products with plant-based squalane. 

If you're interested in which products are vegan or finding vegan brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: Charlotte Tilbury vegan makeup

Animal Testing Policy and History

Charlotte Tilbury claims to have been a cruelty-free brand from its launch in 2013. However, it was only officially recognized as being 100% cruelty-free by an organization in 2020. 

Cruelty-Free Status in 2022

Here is a screenshot of Charlotte Tilbury's official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products, taken from their website:


Charlotte Tilbury is Leaping Bunny approved, and you'll be able to see their logo (as shown in the picture above) on any product you buy. 

Leaping Bunny holds one of the highest accreditations as it does an in-depth investigation into a brand's supply chain, production, and distribution channels before any claim can be made. 

This certification also needs to be maintained and renewed. A brand is continuously checked to ensure it meets these high standards. 

It's great to see Charlotte Tilbury meet these expectations, given it has advocated cruelty-free cosmetics since its launch. 

The brand is not PETA-approved yet, but given it's still fairly new, we can predict that PETA will approve it soon too. 

For more information on which cruelty-free certification to rely on, read here: Which Cruelty-Free Logos Can You Trust?

Is Charlotte Tilbury Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

Charlotte Tilbury does not distribute any of its products to China or any country that requires animal testing on any cosmetics by law yet.

Like many cruelty-free brands, Charlotte Tilbury overcomes this issue by selling their merchandise online to customers in China so that animal testing is bypassed.

However, the brand plans to branch out to Korea and Mainland China soon without compromising its cruelty-free status.

They want to be the first Leaping Bunny-approved cosmetics brand to expand in these areas by creating a highly specialized distribution model.

We want to see how this unfolds for the brand. 

China has a shocking track record. It is the country with the most amount of animal testing globally, with over 20 million animals used per year.

However, if you live in China or are concerned about its cruel beauty policies, there are a couple of loopholes to be aware of. Here's how to find cruelty-free cosmetics in China: Are Cosmetics Made in China Cruelty-Free?

What Charlotte Tilbury Products Are Vegan?

Charlotte Tilbury has a decent range of vegan products that continues to expand. The website holds over 70 vegan products for you to choose from – including makeup and skincare. 

This doesn't include all their makeup brushes which are made from synthetic fibers. 

Something important to note is that you still need to check each makeup shade you want to buy because anything with a red tone might use carmine and is therefore, not vegan. 

Some of their award-winning vegan products include:

  • Hollywood Contour Wand
  • Wonderglow Face Primer 
  • Charlotte's Magical Lip Oil Crystal Elixir
  • Goddess Cleansing Ritual Cleanser DuoGoddess Skin Clay Mask 
  • Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet
  • Airbrush Bronzer 
  • Filmstar Bronze and Glow Bronzer and Highlighter Set
  • Eyes to Mesmerise Eyeshadow 
  • Beauty Light Wand Highlighter 

For a full list of Charlotte Tilbury's vegan products, you can find them listed here: Charlotte Tilbury Vegan Product List 

Vegan Alternatives to Charlotte Tilbury 

Overall, Charlotte Tilbury is quite transparent with consumers about its values and ethics.

It has a decent selection of vegan products that make it easy to choose an entirely vegan skin care regimen and makeup set from this brand alone. 

So, if you love its luxury cosmetics and have recently gone vegan – you might be relieved to know you're safe.   

However, if you're a strong advocate that will not support a brand that isn't entirely vegan – Charlotte Tilbury might not be your first choice, especially since they don't seem to have any plan to actively develop more vegan formulas. 

If you're looking for 100% vegan brands within the same price range or cheaper, some great options include:

Is Charlotte Tilbury Natural and Organic? 

Charlotte Tilbury is not a natural or organic brand, nor does it make any claims suggesting otherwise. However, it does use many naturally-derived ingredients in its formulas and claims to use safe synthetics too. 

As a conscientious shopper, you must read up on any brand's ingredient list before you make a purchase – especially if you live within the United States.

This is because the FDA has only banned or restricted 11 harmful chemicals from cosmetics within the country. Europe, on the other hand, has banned 1,328!

With makeup and skincare, some ingredients you really want to avoid include:

  • Butylated compounds,
  • Benzophenone compounds, 
  • Carbon black,
  • Formaldehyde, and 
  • Lead or other heavy metals. 

Charlotte Tilbury openly talks about the natural extracts it uses to enhance its product formulations – many of them are beneficial and unique. 

Some ingredients this luxury brand uses to enhance its cosmetics include: 

  • Hyaluronic acid – provides extra hydration (water) to your skin. 
  • Rosehip oil – provides extra moisture (lipids) to your skin. 
  • Red algae marigel – potential to improve skin elasticity  
  • Winter daphne stem cell extract – potential to improve skin integrity
  • Bionympth peptide – shields the skin damage due to free-radicals 

Does It Use Safe Ingredients?

Yes, it does use safe ingredients. 

According to Skin Safe, Charlotte Tilbury usually has a 91 - 100% allergen-free ranking for each product. Pretty impressive, right? 

Many of Charlotte Tilbury's products are free of allergens such as common preservatives, irritants, gluten, nickel, fragrance, parabens, soy, propylene glycol, and lanolin.

Reading the ingredient list is crucial because Charlotte Tilbury has various ranges for different skin needs.

Overall, it is not a hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic brand, but it does have specific products that fulfill those needs. 

It even has a specially formulated non-comedogenic skin foundation that is branded 'for acne-prone skin.

Although you're almost guaranteed to get a product free of the most common allergens – that doesn't mean you shouldn't check. All ingredients are subject to change so keep your eyes open.

Are Cruelty-Free Ingredients Safe?

If you're worried about how safe it is to use cosmetics that are not tested on animals – please relax and take a sigh of relief.

There is no reason why cruelty-free products shouldn't be just as safe as anything tested on an animal.

Not only is it easy to test ingredients without using animals altogether, but there are so many pre-approved ingredients you can use to make cosmetics that there really is no need.

Here's more on the subject if you're interested: Are Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Safe?

Is Charlotte Tilbury Sustainable and Ethical? 

It's no secret that the world has a huge waste problem, and cosmetic brands are only making it worse by using unsustainable packaging and harmful ingredients.

Charlotte Tilbury is making an effort to pick up a few sustainable and ethical practices slowly but surely. As it stands, the brand is:

  • Transparent about its Mica mining policies. 

    This mineral is commonly sourced to create that shimmer effect in cosmetics; however, it is also linked to some serious child labor issues and infringements of human rights.

    Charlotte Tilbury claims that their Mica is ethically sourced and that their suppliers are audited regularly to make sure they are compliant. 
  • Encouraging a product return, recycle, and refill system.

    One way Charlotte Tilbury is attempting to be more sustainable is through a waste-reduction initiative they started: return, recycle and refill.

    Here, consumers are encouraged to send their Magic Skin moisturizer plastic jars through via a recycling portal. They can then get 20% off their new moisturizer purchase in a more eco-friendly refillable moisturizer glass jar.

    Once a consumer is switched onto the glass jar, they can simply purchase capsule refills and stop wasting plastic unnecessarily.  

In saying this, Charlotte Tilbury is not entirely sustainable yet. 

Yes, it is cruelty-free and has vegan options. But it could improve its overall ethical sourcing and sustainability.

Its packaging recycling and refill initiatives only apply to a very small percentage of its products – so there's a lot more that can be done. 

Charlotte Tilbury also uses a few unsustainable ingredients in its formulas, such as palm oil, which is a huge contributor to deforestation.

Final Thoughts

Charlotte Tilbury is a very well-developed cosmetics company that takes a serious stance on developing cruelty-free products. It is great to see this policy come from a high-end brand. 

Although it isn't entirely vegan, it does provide options and clearly marks any products that have no animal-derived ingredients. 

We appreciate that it has a transparent Mica mining policy and is open about its testing, purchasing, and distribution policies. 

Since Charlotte Tilbury is not 100% vegan – it might not be the best choice for any activists who go the extra mile. Especially since the brand also uses palm oil as an ingredient and unsustainable packaging.

It also might be a challenge for activists to accept that it is owned by Puig, which is not cruelty-free. 

While it has taken steps towards being sustainably packaged – there is still a lot of room for improvement here. We hope to see better packaging and ingredient choices coming from Charlotte Tilbury soon. 

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